Visual tips for older motorists

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Old individuals above 60 are poor in moving objects perception and peripheral vision and their reaction time also slows. Certain age-related eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy can still compromise overall vision. All these negative factors put older drivers on a higher risk. Older motorists should keep in mind some useful tips during driving.

Older drivers should always assess driving ability based external reactions such as honking horns, worried loved ones, warnings from police and blinding headlight. Shorter trips, daytime driving and good weather conditions are more suitable for older drivers. Fatal collisions around intersections account for 40% of the total among older motorists. So that intersections deserve extra cautions.

A great number of Baby Boomers are still on the road at night, which brings a three times higher death rate than daytime driving. Routes with poor lighting, irregular twists or poor signage are more dangerous during night driving. Older drivers still can wear eyeglasses that can reduce glare and reflection. Since older drivers have slower reaction than youngsters, they should concentrate on driving and avoid distracting things such as cell phone and smoking.

Vision tests and exams are being ignored by both older driver themselves and administration departments in some states. Dilated eye exams and vision screening requirements for elderly drivers are commonly in lax. Elderly motorists should visit an eye doctor at least every two years to detect early signs of age-related eye diseases, especially for those with presbyopia who need to update prescriptions more frequently. Older people with cataract can benefit from aspheric intraocular lens implantation. Diabetes in older drivers requires more frequent eye exams and proper diet and medication, in order to prevent diabetic retinopathy.

Older drivers also experience certain eye structural changes such as smaller pupils and less light transmittance. Their pupils dilate slowly in the dark and light transmission loss also decreases night vision. In this case, it is quite necessary to reduce the speed during night driving. For night glare, halos, starbursts and other aberrations, older motorist can resort to eyeglass lenses with anti-reflective coatings or wavefront lenses.

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